Why start a blog today? Why not today? I liked the date today for one. It is the 10th of October in 2009. So in one year the date will be 10/10/10. I have set a goal of chronicling my life for a year. I feel that this will be a good thing for me because in the past I have seen how writing out my thoughts has helped me to grow as a person. I have been thinking about this for a couple of months and decided today would be the day.
Today is Sabbath. This is the day of the week that I normally take off. I don’t study or go to work. It is a special day set apart to worshiping God.
Today I needed to be alone. Earlier this week I thought about going to San Diego for the day but instead chose a closer location and headed into the San Bernardino Mountains in search of Lake Arrowhead. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now I’m living in the Inland Empire (which is basically a desert). I felt the need to be near water.
I woke up around 6:30 a.m. (earlier than most Sabbaths). As I opened the blinds to watch the sunrise I was surprised to see low clouds. I love the fog because it reminds me of home. I got ready for the day and actually got to sit down and eat breakfast (a rarity since I’ve started medical school). I got into my chilly car and took off. Everything around looked grey and peaceful but at the same time frigid. I was tempted to turn around and go back home and climb back into my comfy bed. But I pressed on because today I’m taking a step forward and getting away for the day to seek solitude. I’ve been stressed out because of having to perform well in school and every day I am forced to spend most of my day studying but more than that life continues to occur and there is stress from home and family and the greatest source of stress is myself.
As I merged onto the freeway “There Will Be a Day” by Jeremy Camp began to play. I love what the chorus of the chorus of this song says,
“There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always”
Tears were shed this past week. I’ve been experiencing internal unrest. I know that I am afraid to take the next step. Lately I have not liked being alone because I am alone with my thoughts. It’s been hard to sleep at night because when I crawl into bed and turn off the lights my thoughts and worries turn on full blast and keep me tossing and turning late at night.
Another song played and I was happy to be reminded that I am a child of God. I have a purpose for being where I’m at right now. The sun started to break through the low clouds. Before I knew it I was leaving the freeway and merging onto a two lane state highway. As soon as I got above the cloud coverage have way up the mountain I pulled over onto a turnout to look out at the valley below covered in a white blanket of fog. The surrounding hills and distant peaks looked so dark against the clouds and were just silhouettes with the blazing morning sun coming from behind. I stood there in awe. For the next moments there were no sounds and just stillness. I realized that today I am in no particular rush to get to my destination. With that in mind I got back into my car and stayed the in the slow lane. There would be no one waiting for me at the lake once I got there so I just needed to enjoy the drive and relax. The roads became very curvy, (which I love to drive on!) and I was reminded of when I first got my car. I’ve had my current car since high school and I got it a Friday afternoon. I remember it was a Friday because the next day (a Sabbath) I drove it up a mountain to a monastery in the Napa Valley for a choir performance. Years later I was blessed with the opportunity to attend college in the same beautiful location where people come from around the world to vacation. The good old Napa Valley. The road to and from the college is curvy and for four years I grew to love driving (sometimes faster than I should have) around those curves.
When I arrived at the lake I drove around for a bit before I settled on a place to spend the rest of my morning. I circled the lake and made my way back to the little town and parked. now the journey continued on foot to find a peaceful corner near the lake’s shore. Everywhere I went I was met with some kind of fence preventing me from getting to the water’s edge. I followed the dock and found a small park. And of course, here too I was met with a fence. Then I saw this sign:Usually I’m the type to obey signs and regulations because after all there’s probably a good reason someone went through the trouble to putting up a sign or posting some kind of ordinance. Well today I didn’t. I walked through an opening of the fence and found a smooth rock to sit on and just be still for the morning. I don’t know what I expected would happen and didn’t plan anything specific to do while I was at the lake. I sort of thought that I may just breakdown and start weeping but that didn’t happen. I read some passages out of Psalms in the Bible which are also some of my favorite praise songs. Then I just sat with my eyes closed and listened. I listened to the cool breeze rustle through the leaves behind me and heard the water gently bathe the rocks beneath my feet.
I sat for a long while just taking in all the sounds and feeling the warm sun on my skin. When I opened my eyes and looked around I saw that I was not alone. Over to my right looking out across the lake like me was a little squirrel.
I know that I am not alone on this journey of seeking peace. God is with me and has brought me through to this point. I need to remember that I cannot do this on my own. God has brought me through tough times and He will give me the strength to carry on. There was an overwhelming sense of peace that came upon me in just sitting and being still away from the hurried ways of my busy life. I must strive to make my relationship with God my number one priority everyday. I took a step beyond the fence to be still and know God.